Four developers are interested in erecting a giant Ferris wheel on San Diego Bay, but the FAA calls the so-called Discovery Point structure a hazard to aircraft.
In a 5-page memo obtained by NBC San Diego, the Federal Aviation Administration said its study of the proposed 443-foot-high “observation wheel found it “exceeds obstruction standards” and could hurt navigation because of electromagnetic interference.
But the FAA’s “Notice of Presumed Hazard” dated Jan. 22 also said the government could issue a “favorable determination” if the wheel didn’t exceed 277 feet.
If the Port wanted federal OK of the 443-foot height, the FAA said, “further study would be necessary,” including a public-comment period that could last 120 days.
Real estate developer David Malmuth, behind one of the proposals, told NBC San Diego that the FAA report was expected.
“You have to have a lot of persistence,” he was quoted as saying. “You need to be flexible. But you also need to firmly believe in the worth of your project.”
San Diego port commissioners have scheduled a Feb. 10 hearing on the Ferris wheel in a parking lot south of the Midway Museum.
“February’s meeting will simply give the board an opportunity to hear from developers interested in moving this concept forward,” said Port Chairman Dan Malcolm. “The public should be aware that this is an informational meeting only and that no decisions either for or against any particular proposed project will be made at this time.”
The board will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, at the Port’s Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego.
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